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Recycling of cans and disposal of labels at OeTTINGER using PUEHLER presses from WEIMA

The world-famous Bavarian Brewery OeTTINGER is one of those companies that does not need to advertise their sustainability – they live and breathe sustainability. WEIMA's PUEHLER presses for removing labels from glass bottles and for recycling cans are operated at several locations to dewater and compact waste materials in one process step. The challenge: huge production volumes.

Every year, OeTTINGER fills around two billion bottles and cans at four locations in Germany. This is a total of around eight million hectoliters (800 million liters) of beer, beer mixes and a variety of soft drinks. The equivalent of filling 320 Olympic swimming pools. The company has been in business since 1731 and boasts a long tradition, making it one of the most influential breweries in the world.

Once the many reusable glass bottles are returned to OeTTINGER after use, the labels are removed and the bottles washed. Several hydraulic PUEHLER A series label presses have been doing their job here for many years.

"We decided at that time to use PUEHLER label presses in our bottle washer lines. And we can confirm from our experience to date that they not only run very reliably but above all require little maintenance. This really paid off for OeTTINGER."

Johann Dietrich, master brewer at OeTTINGER

By compacting and dewatering the wet label residues, the Swabian brewery group significantly reduces both the volume of waste and its transport costs. The lye produced during cleaning is separated from the almost dry bottle labels and can then be correctly disposed of. Formed into a round pellet, the compacted labels are considered to be pure paper waste.

OeTTINGER's second area of application for the PUEHLER presses concerns the processing of scrap cans. When filling beverage cans, it is inevitable that individual cans are underfilled or overfilled at the beginning and end of a production cycle. They then do not meet the brewery's quality standards and have to be sorted out. At OeTTINGER, the ejection process is fully automated and takes place at lightning speed thanks to the use of sensors.

Before PUEHLER presses were used, the rejected cans were only dewatered and only partially compacted. The cost savings were difficult to measure, recalls Johann Dietrich, while describing the benefits of the process changeover:

"We were not satisfied with the previous solution. Individual beer cans were also compacted, but the compaction was not as uniform as with the PUEHLER machine. The focus for OeTTINGER is on reducing freight volumes. Our cans are now optimally compacted – to form a compact disc with a diameter of 200 mm. With the help of our recycling partners, aluminum cans can be returned to the raw material cycle."

Johann Dietrich, master brewer at OeTTINGER

At two of OeTTINGER's filling sites, the hydraulic presses for cans are from the WEIMA's PUEHLER G Recycling Series. At a distance from the actual filling line, they serve as a central collection point for internal can recycling, and, depending on the amount of waste, they are operated flexibly by up to 30 different employees.

"From the very beginning, when we purchased the machine, it was important to us that it was easy to operate. What we appreciate most about the PUEHLER G.200 is the uncomplicated cleaning and its high availability. And if a malfunction does occur, it can usually be easily remedied. All in all, we have a very cooperative partnership with WEIMA."

This article was first published in 2023 by WEIMA. Read here.

CEMAC technologies is proud to distribute WEIMA in Australia.

For more information please contact us.

(03) 8400 6066


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